By Steven Kramer
Taking the kids to hear live music is not only a fun way to spend a weekend afternoon or evening with the family, but also a great educational opportunity that just might spark the kids’ interest in learning music. Hearing live music up close and seeing the musicians and their instruments in action is a fantastic and inspiring experience that is far too uncommon these days, especially for children.
Here are some great places you and your family can enjoy a variety of quality live music at a reasonable price (or even free!) in San Diego County.
Sunday Organ Concerts at the Spreckels Pavilion, Balboa Park – FREE
The pipe organ is one of the most impressive, magnificent musical instruments on the planet, and the Spreckles Organ, right here in San Diego’s Balboa Park, is the second largest outdoor musical instrument in the world.* The best part? You can hear this instrument played by the talented San Diego Civic Organist, Carol Williams, every Sunday at 2pm, for free. Enjoy a sunny Sunday afternoon exploring Balboa Park, and stop on by the beautiful outdoor organ pavilion to hear this work of art in action. Also check out the Summer Organ Festival, beginning Monday June 24th.
*The Spreckles Organ is currently engaged in a “Drive to 5000 pipes” campaign to regain the title of the world’s largest outdoor instrument.
San Diego Symphony Young People’s Concerts – $5
The San Diego Symphony offers several concerts each year specifically designed for younger audiences. The programs are educational in nature and present various topics ranging from the types of instruments in the orchestra, to the depiction of heroes in music. Tickets are only $5 and a free ticket is given to an adult chaperone who brings at least 10 students.
Dizzy’s Jazz – $10
Dizzy’s is a fantastic family-friendly venue to hear some great jazz without the typical bar scene distractions. Dizzy’s features some great local jazz musicians and also often brings in touring musicians from around the country. The small, intimate setting at Dizzy’s is a wonderful way to experience the music up close and really see the musicians in action. All ages are welcome at Dizzy’s, and light snacks, coffee, and soft drinks are available for purchase. Tickets are purchased at the door and are typically around $15 (or $10 for students/kids).
Hearing live music at any of the above venues will be a fun and memorable experience for the whole family, and it might also inspire the kids to learn to play an instrument themselves! If the interest is there, don’t let that talent go to waste, go ahead and sign them up for music lessons and help them realize their inner potential!
About the Author
Steven Kramer is a San Diego native and professional oboist. Along with his wife, Julie Wagner, he is co-founder of Muse Academy of Music, a community music school in San Diego committed to enriching the lives of students through quality music instruction in a collaborative and an inspiring learning environment.
Photographs by Bob Lang.